On February 20, 1976, Miss Melodie Cohen, a student from the U.S.A., asked Revered Dadaji:
“People do penances on themselves, like fasting, to pay for sins known and unknown. Do these penances have any value?”
The Discourse given by Revered Dadaji is reproduced below.
Right and Wrong Goals
Basically, penance is states of consciousness, and not necessarily practice. Practices of penance differ according to two main goals to be achieved through penance. One is the right goal and the way of life linked with the right goal. The other is the wrong goal, quite often mistaken for right goal by men that matter, through ignorance or inertia or wrong interpretations by others.
At times, people practice penance knowing well that it is for a wrong goal of life. They do so to fulfill some desire even for a wrong goal.
These are the two extremes: The penance to grow unto the right goal of life and the penance to go into the wrong way of life without knowledge or knowingly. Between these two extreme bases, there are diverse sub-bases for penance. All these bases have many practices, which are common. Some practices are not common.
Read the Full Discourse.